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Living Well on the Spectrum: How to Use Your Strengths to Meet the Challenges of Asperger Syndrome/High-Functioning Autismby Valerie L. Gaus
Synopses & Reviews
Book News Annotation:
Gaus, a clinical psychologist who provides mental health services to people with autism spectrum disorders, helps individuals with Asperger's syndrome or high-functioning autism reframe their differences as strengths to better navigate the world, make progress toward goals, and enhance their well-being. She describes how their brain works, problems they might encounter in daily life due to a variety of differences, and using a positive psychology approach rather than a disease model of autism, and an eight-step problem solving process to dealing with these differences as they relate to issues at home, work, school, in the community, and with friendships, dating, sex, marriage, and health. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Being "different" is old news for adults with Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism (AS/HFA), whether they were diagnosed as children or only recently. Meeting a huge demand and providing indispensable practical guidance, prominent therapist Valerie Gaus shows how difference can be a strength. By mastering specific coping and problem-solving skills that "neurotypical" individuals take for granted, people with AS/HFA can achieve greater success in everything from dealing with daily routines and social interactions to building a career and negotiating intimate relationships. The straight-talking, methodical writing style is expressly tailored to this audience's preferences and needs. The book is packed with questionnaires and worksheets that help readers pinpoint their areas of greatest concern and develop personalized action plans to build the life they want.
Navigating the "neurotypical" world with Asperger syndrome or high-functioning autism (AS/HFA) can be extremely stressful. But by understanding the specific ways your brain works differently--and how to tap into your personal strengths--you can greatly enhance your well-being. In this wise and practical book, experienced therapist Valerie L. Gaus helps you identify goals that will make your life better and take concrete steps to achieve them. Grounded in psychological science, the techniques in this book help you:
*Learn the unspoken rules of social situations.
*Improve your communication skills.
*Get organized at home and at work.
*Manage anxiety and depression.
*Strengthen your relationships with family and friends.
*Live more successfully on your own or with others.
A wealth of stories, questionnaires, worksheets, and concrete examples help you find personalized solutions to problems you are likely to encounter. Finally, a compassionate, knowledgeable, positive guide to living well on the spectrum.
About the Author
Valerie L. Gaus, PhD, is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Long Island, New York, where she lives with her husband and two children. With more than 15 years of experience providing mental health services to people with autism spectrum disorders, Dr. Gaus serves on the advisory board of the Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Association and has lectured internationally on Asperger syndrome and related topics. She is the author of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Adult Asperger Syndrome, a bestselling book for therapists.
Table of Contents
Foreword, Stephen Shore
Introduction. How to Get the Most Out of This Book
I. Life on the Spectrum
1. A Typical Day in Your Life: Problems and Solutions
2. A Unique Brain: How Thinking Differences Can Affect Your Daily Life
3. How Social Differences Can Be Vulnerabilities and Strengths
4. The Role of Your Emotional Differences
5. How Sensory and Movement Differences Can Affect Your Interactions with Your Environment
II. Positive Solutions for a Quality Life
6. Positive Solutions: Your Bag of Tricks
7. At Home
8. At Work
9. At School
10. In the Community
11. Building Friendships
12. Dating, Sex, and Marriage
14. Putting Yourself in Charge of Your Life and Finding Help When You Need It
Appendix: Problem-Solving Worksheet
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